Digital Transformation has Led to CFO’s Expanding Role, Billtrust Claims

The role of today’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is undergoing significant changes and expansions, according to a new study, “The Evolution of Order-to-Cash,” conducted by global market analysis and advisory firm IDC on behalf of the B2B order-to-cash software and digital payments market leader, Billtrust.

The study, administered to 622 business executives, “highlights the growing importance of CFOs in managing cash, supply chain finance, insurance and commodities while working with limited resources.”

Amid ongoing economic uncertainty, 90% of the respondents agreed that the CFO’s importance has “significantly” elevated within their organizations. This trend holds in the United States and Europe, “where nearly 90% of respondents acknowledged the increased significance of the CFO.”

The survey results also “highlight the need for CFOs and financial leaders to prioritize digital transformation in the order-to-cash (OTC) process to improve efficiency, optimize cash flow and ensure long-term organizational survival. 77% of those surveyed went as far as to say that digital transformation across the OTC process is critical for their survival.”

Additionally, the study revealed “that 44% of respondents have made significant changes to their OTC processes in the past 24 months, including payment management, invoicing and billing, and order management.” Notably, 37% of U.S. respondents and “just over 50% of EMEA respondents have implemented significant OTC process changes during this period.”

Sunil Rajasekar, CEO at Billtrust, said:

“As we navigate an ever-changing business climate, the role of CFOs is becoming increasingly multifaceted and crucial. This study emphasizes the expanding expectations of CFOs, not only to manage the company’s finances but also to contribute to key business decisions, steer the company through uncertain credit and financial markets, and oversee cost control across all departments. In this era, digital transformation, particularly within the order-to-cash process, is not merely an option but a necessity. By leveraging technology and automation, CFOs can unearth novel efficiencies, optimize cash flow management, and sustainably drive business growth.”

Kevin Permenter, Research Director, Financial Applications at IDC, said:

“These findings illustrate how cash flow has reemerged as a top concern for businesses, particularly in the mid-market sector, where organizations often face challenges accessing capital markets and securing financing. Consequently, the order-to-cash process has gained heightened importance to ensure efficient cash management. The good news is that many CFOs and financial leaders seem to be taking the necessary steps to do so.”

Additional highlights from the report include:

  • Digitization fuels bottom-line results: An overwhelming 94% of respondents stated that manual OTC processes would adversely affect their company’s financial performance.
  • Yet, executives struggle to reach digital maturity: Only 15% of respondents have achieved a connected OTC process based on real-time data.
  • Late payments highlight the urgency of OTC: As business executives consider the importance of cash/liquidity today, 17% of their invoices go unpaid by their due date.
  • Outdated OTC process impacting employee experience: 54% agree that “the lack of OTC modernization has had a negative impact on our ability to attract and retain financial employees.” Meanwhile, 30% of respondents characterize OTC employee turnover rate as “high” or “extremely high.”

As noted in the update, finance leaders turn to Billtrust “to control costs, accelerate cash flow and improve customer satisfaction.”

As a B2B order-to-cash software and digital payments market leader, they help “the world’s leading brands get paid faster while transitioning from expensive paper invoicing and check acceptance to efficient electronic billing and payments.”

With over 2,600 global customers and more than $1 trillion invoice dollars processed, Billtrust delivers business value “through deep industry expertise and a culture relentlessly focused on meaningful customer outcomes.”

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